Oxfam Report: World’s Richest Own as Much as 50% Poorest

Oxfam Report

An Oxfam report highlighting the disparity between the rich and the poor has been released.

According to the findings, the 26 richest billionaires on the planet own the equivalent in assets as the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people.

Oxfam Report

The charity dubbed 2018 as a year in which the rich grew richer, and the poor grew poorer. The report was released to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Gap is Widening 

The wealth disparity is widening, according to the Oxfam report. The wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires increased by $900 billion in 2018 alone. This equals a staggering $2.5 billion a day. More staggering is the fact that as the rich increased by 12%, the poorest half of the globe’s population decreased in wealth by 11%.

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Now, the total amount of billionaires who own as much wealth as half of the world’s population stands at 26. This in contrast to 43 in 2017, and 61 in 2016.

Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Matthew Spencer, said on the findings:

“There is enough wealth in the world to provide everyone with a fair chance in life. Governments should act to ensure that taxes raised from wealth and businesses paying their fair share are used to fund free, good-quality public services that can save and transform people’s lives.”

Jeff Bezos

The Oxfam report brought to light certain facts regarding the wealth disparity across the globe. For example, between 2017 and 2018, a new billionaire was created every two days. Further, the number of billionaires doubled in the last ten years.

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To put the problem into perspective, 1% of Jeff Bezos’ (Amazon owner and world’s wealthiest man) $112 billion USD fortune is the equivalent to Ethiopia’s entire health budget for the country.

Ethiopia is a country of 105 million people.

Calls for Taxes

The charity is now calling for a 1% wealth tax that would raise approximately $418 billion USD annually. This amount could put every child currently not in school through school, and also provide healthcare thus preventing 3 million deaths yearly.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © chrisdorney